Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/19/14
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An untimely injury in the last game of 2011 put a sudden halt to Ryan Howard‘s run as a borderline elite fantasy first baseman, but there’s still a little gas left in the tank for this former 40-homer, 140-RBI threat. In just 71 games and 292 plate appearances last year, Howard clubbed 14 homers and 56 RBI. Double those numbers and you have the kind of production Howard would have put up in a full season — 28 HR and 112 RBI. But while the power was nice, the .219 batting average was an eyesore to say the least. For those who are ready to classify the strikeout prone Howard as Adam Dunn with less power, you may want to pause a moment. Yes, his strikeout rate will approach (any maybe even exceed) 30%, but last year he hit line drives over 25% of the time. Even with Howard’s extremely limited foot speed, that should result in a BABIP higher than .287. Seeing as Howard posted his best strikeout rate of 2012 in the season’s final month, perhaps it just took him a little time to work his ...
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